The history of NLR dates back to 1967 when Ms. F.M.J Antem and Dr. D.L. Leiker took the initiative to establish the organization being motivated by their real experience with the leprosy affected people. Leprosy affected people did not have adequate access to treatment and they had to undergo through horrible isolation, discrimination and stigmatization.
Netherlands Leprosy Relief (NLR) is a non profit, non religious INGO, which operates in 5 different countries : Nepal, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and Brazil.
NLR in Nepal
NLR supports Governments & local NGOs in carrying out different project activities including leprosy control & disabilities inclusive development. The emphasis is primarily on changing of the behavior, relationships &actions of Boundary Partners through capacity building. NLR strives to work and coordinate activities consistently with other strategic partners or international organizations. NLR is a member organization of the International Federation of Anti- Leprosy Associations (ILEP).
NLR started its operation in Nepal in 1977. The organization has evolved with various strategic phases in different course of time. NLR’s operational approaches in Nepal can be segregated into various strategic eras;
- Establishment Era (1977- 1986): NLR focused its support on leprosy services in eastern region of Nepal and constructing hospitals and health posts in different parts of Nepal such as Tehrathum, Taplejung, Panchthar, Dailekh, Rukum, Jajarkot, Rolpa.
- Treatment Era (1986- 2000): Leprosy treatment initiatives were extensively launched and resources were consolidated for patient diagnosis, treatment and care through clinics.
- Leprosy Control Era (2000- 2005): Disease & disabilities prevention due to leprosy, awareness raising in the communities, training & capacity building, establishing & updating of self-care/self help groups were the major supporting activities during this era.
- Transformation Era (2005- 2010): NLR Nepal underwent a paradigm shift both structurally and functionally. NLR Nepal widened its scope of intervention and prioritized mainstreaming of leprosy to general disabilities and then disabilities to holistic developmental perspective.
- Development Era ( 2010-2015): NLR Nepal widened its areas of support to developmental issues such as comprehensive WASH, NTDs, Inclusion, inclusive education, disabilities inclusive disaster, prevention of birth related disabilities through Inspire2Care and so on.
- NLR works with governments, NGOs, research institutions and Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) to promote the accessibility and quality of services via the provision of training, expert advice, research and innovations
- NLR develops its policies and programs in accordance with National policies harmonizing with the programs guided by different UN Conventions and other developmental agendas such as UNCRPD, MDG/SDG, CEDAW, CRC.
- NLR lobbies to focus for“Inclusion (enhancing opportunities, ensuring equal rights and reducing barriers)” on policy agendas at all levels.